Who is the Youngest Swimmer to Have Won Gold at the Olympic Games?

Published 06/26/2021, 7:04 AM EDT
Jun 16, 2021; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Caleb Dressel swims in the MenÕs 100m Freestyle Semifinals Heat 2 during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials Swimming competition at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports


Swimming has been a part of every modern Olympics. Swimming and the Olympics have become synonymous over the years as it is the second-largest sport in the summer games right behind track & field. Over the years, we’ve seen various records being set and broke inside the swimming pool. Here’s one that’s remained intact since 1992; the youngest swimmer to win Olympic gold. 

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It is essential to know that there is an age limit restriction for athletes to qualify for the Olympics. However, this only pertains to other sports, as swimming allows athletes of all age categories to take part. 

Hence, one can see a lot of teenagers compete in swimming at the Olympic games. But have you ever wondered who might be the youngest swimmer to win Olympic gold? Don’t worry, because we have got you covered. 

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The youngest swimmer to win a gold medal in the Olympics

Since swimming does not have an age limit, athletes aged 13 or 14 years old can be seen participating in the Olympics. While some of them just merely participate, other prodigal wonders go the distance and bring pride to their country.

Kyoko Iwasaki was one such teenaged sensation from Japan. Iwasaki is the youngest Olympian to win a gold medal in Swimming. She achieved it at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and her record is yet to be broken. 

Iwasaki participated in three events at the 1992 games in Barcelona (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, and the 4 x 100m medley relay). She won gold in the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2:26.65

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Kyoko Iwasaki weighed just 45 kilograms and stood 1.57 meters tall at the time of her victory. She did not have as much physical strength when compared to her older competitors, but the Japanese teenager made history by winning an Olympic gold aged just 14 years and 6 days. 

Imagine winning an Olympic gold medal when you’re just 14 years old. Might seem like a far-fetched dream, but some athletes make it a reality. Iwasaki won gold in Barcelona and competed in the subsequent Olympics in 1996 as well, but returned home without a medal to her name. 

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Arjun Athreya

2035 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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